FACT CHECK: Did Shinzo Abe Send Back 1.6 Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses And Give Citizens Ivermectin?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Instagram claims the late former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent back 1.6 million COVID-19 vaccine doses during the COVID-19 pandemic and also “gave citizens ivermectin.”

 

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A post shared by Dr. Carrie Madej (@fenixmeddr)

Verdict: Misleading

While Japan did send back 1.6 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in 2021, the move came a year after Abe’s resignation as prime minister. Ivermectin has never been approved for use against COVID-19 in Japan.

Fact Check: 

Abe was assassinated July 8 during a campaign speech in Nara, Japan by a gunman using a homemade weapon, according to CNN. The assassin allegedly believed Abe was linked to the Unification Church, an organization the suspect reportedly disdains, the outlet reported.

The Instagram image, liked over 8,300 times, implies Abe was killed due to his refusal to carry out “World Economic Forum orders” regarding COVDI-19 vaccines. “Didn’t mandate vaccines, sent 1.6 million doses back and gave citizens ivermectin. Make sense now,” the post’s text reads. (RELATED: No, This Footage Does Not Show China’s ‘Artificial Sun’ Being Launched)

The post inaccurately describes Japan’s policies and previous actions. Japan did return 1.6 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in 2021 due to contamination concerns, according to The New York Times. However, this was more than a year after Abe resigned from his position as prime minister due to health concerns, the outlet reported. Yoshihide Suga was elected as prime minister by the country’s ruling party in October 2020, according to The Guardian.

While it is true that Abe did not mandate vaccines, Japan scrapped all mandatory inoculations in 1994, according to The Associated Press. Despite this, Japan has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world. About 82 percent of the population has been inoculated against COVID-19 at least once, according to data from the Japanese government.

The Japanese Pharmaceuticals and Medical Agency does not list ivermectin as an approved drug to treat COVID-19. The country’s health ministry advised that the drug should be used “only in clinical trials” and warned against importing it, The Japan Times reported. There is no credible news reporting about Abe encouraging the use of ivermectin.

COVID-19 vaccines have been the center of online misinformation since their release. Check Your Fact recently debunked a claim suggesting a recent study by Pfizer found its vaccine to be only 12 percent effective.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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